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Al Jazeera World News

News/Business. Independent global news offers a variety of perspectives.

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00:30:00

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PG-13;V

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ac3

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Syria 11, Afghanistan 9, U.s. 6, United States 5, Assad 4, India 4, Moscow 4, Hugo Chavez 3, Chavez 3, U.n. 3, Russia 3, Us 3, Cuba 3, Bashar Al-assad 2, Nikolai 2, The National Rifle Association 2, Venezuela 2, New Delhi 2, Al Jazeera 2, Wales 1,
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  LINKTV    Al Jazeera World News    News/Business. Independent global  
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    December 24, 2012
    5:30 - 5:59am PST  

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>> the u.n. envoy to syria holds talks with president bashar al- assad and hopes to find a solution to end the violence. hello. the other top stories from al jazeera -- another insider attack in afghanistan. the u.s. contractor is killed. plus -- india's prime minister appeals for calm after a second day of violent street protests.
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plus, bringing life to the desert. qatar brings ca hopes for those struggling to grow their own food. syria's president bashar al- assad says his government will do whatever it can to end the crisis in syria. his comments on state tv followed a meeting of the u.n. peace envoy to syria lakdar brahimi. he also says he is cooperating with lakdar brahimi, who is on a two-day visit. it coincides with a missile strike. scores of civilians killed in the attack. in the northern city of aleppo rebel fighters say they captured a military base. russia's foreign minister says he received guarantees from president assad he will not use chemical weapons against rebels. >> i met president assad and we exchanged views on the next steps that can be taken to move
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forward. the president spoke of his viewpoint and i told of what i gathered from my many meetings i of that indifference cities and with various officials in the region and outside the region. we also discussed the steps i see it can be taken to help the syrian people come out of the crisis. the situation in syria remains of high concern and with the party's move of the direction of a solution that the people of this -- of syria aspire to. >> let's be to our correspondent on the border between turkey and syria. as you say, this is brahimi's third trip and the situation has gotten significantly worse since the last time. are we any further forward this time? >> we do not have the details of the meeting, in a sense we did not know exactly what ideas brahimi presented to the syrian president bashar al-assad. he said we discussed solutions. what are the solutions? there have been a lot of reports, unconfirmed reports
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that brahimi discuss the ability -- possibility of installing a transitional government in syria with full authority. but at the same time, the syrian president as well as his regime will be allowed to remain in place without any authority. again, this is unconfirmed. but already near has been a reaction from the opposition, angry reaction. we heard from the head of the syrian national coalition, the main political body in exile. the said -- will not accept any solution that would, in his words, save the regime. we want assad to leave. he will not be able to stay in power. even fighters on the ground, they tell you we will not accept anything if the president is not prosecuted for his crimes and held accountable. because the opposition, when you talk to them, they are very confident and they feel they are winning this war and it is just a matter of time. but obviously on the ground the government continues to strike back and it is striking back hard and there has been no let
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up in the violence. panic, chaos, anger -- this is the aftermath of what the opposition says was an air strike carried out by a syrian fighter jet. the syrian observatory for human rights as those killed and wounded were queueing outside a bakery. this is a town which only five days ago was under the control of government forces. the rebels recently opened a new battlefront in this region of the hama, a province in central syria. but territorial gains mean little when the state has superior firepower. syria's information minister says the government is willing to engage in dialogue. but the other side isn't. >> i have general advice to those political powers to reject dialogue. time is getting short. hurry and move on to worked for
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a political solution. these military efforts try to topple the government, getting rid of the president that occupying the capital, get rid of this. >> defiant words. and if i and actions on the ground. but the opposition believes the government has been weakened and is looking for a deal to stay in power. >> more than 40,000 people dead now. people on the ground must be wondering, looking around, wondering where a realistic solution is coming from. but well, yes, it seems both sides are pursuing the military option for the time being. but the government -- if you talk to the opposition, what did they say? they believe the syrian government is now on the defensive. they are trying to defend itself, trying to find some sort of appeal to stay in power. you hear this time and time again -- they have so much confidence. we have been to syria so many times and they believe even with light weapons, we have seen territorial gains on the ground. they have been able to take
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territory. but you cannot call it liberated territory simply because everywhere remains a target. syrian fighter jet, artillery. at the end of the day, there are civilians, civilians caught in the crossfire. and anger is growing. people are worried about how will they find bread, fuel. life is becoming increasingly difficult for the people inside. winter, people are called. refugees in neighboring countries. some people are returning simply because life in exile to them is a slow death. they would rather cheat death inside. so, a very gloomy picture. the international community extremely worried about the post-assad days, talking about the possibility of even more chaos. >> thank you very much, indeed. an afghan policeman killed a u.s. contractor in kabul in a so-called insider attack. walked into the of police chiefs come down with a weapon and shot
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the man. the victim was an advisor to the afghan police. five afghan police officers were killed in a similar attack on sunday night. jennifer glass has more from kabul. >> we don't know the motive of this police woman who walked into the headquarters in central kabul today and killed this u.s. contractor. it is part of a growing number of insider attacks here in afghanistan this year. this contractor becomes the 62nd farmer to be killed by insider attacks. to discuss insider attacks i enjoyed by the former member of parliament and political analyst -- thank you for being here. what affects our these insider attacks having? >> i think if we are not careful, it will have the effect of the enemies of afghanistan and the united states want to have, which is to create a public opinion that all afghans are like this, and everybody wants to be doing this. that is not the case.
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i think this is perpetrated to affect the will of the united states for the pressures of public opinion so they will quit afghanistan. and afghanistan and the ninth of states embarked on a journey we cannot quit because of these pressures. these tragedies cannot be ignored, cannot be shoved aside, yet we have to keep everything in perspective. these perspectives have not been explained to the public and afghanistan by the afghan government and the united states by the united states government adequately. >> it comes just weeks before president obama is expected to decide how many of the more than 60,000 u.s. forces will leave here next year. what do you think these insider attacks do as decisions are made about the future of afghanistan? >> those who want to create these situations, but these behind them and encouraging it, they would be happy to have the united states on their own soil. their goal is to affect united
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states decisions in regards to afghanistan and with regard to establishing firm footing here to fight terrorism and to create stability in his region. as soon as the united states, if they decide to, leave afghanistan and create this vacuum, they would be happy to provide the same space in their own countries. and this is -- the united states people need to understand this and the afghan dormant need to do a better job communicating this. >> today, the latest insider attack, the 62nd -- 62 foreigners killed by insider attacks here. the affect of these attacks still to be known as the nato moves toward drawing down its forces in 2013 and 2014. >> fin will service is being held in pakistan for a provincial politician killed in a suicide attack. it was the most senior minister in the province. he was killed along with eight other people in bashar saturday.
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he was known for being an outspoken critic of the pakistani taliban. in deposit from minister appealed for calm after two days of violent protest in new delhi. roads leading to the heart of the capital have been shut down to prevent more demonstrations. it did not stop when a group taking to the streets for the eighth straight day. they are calling for the death penalty for those accused of a rape of a medical student last week. people have been rallying and other indian cities over the issue as well. >> and believe -- a turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and police forces. anger that this crime is justified but violence will serve no purses -- purpose. i appeal to all concerned citizens to remain at peace and calm. i will assure you that we will make all possible efforts to
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ensure security and safety of women in this country. >> staying in india, five policemen have been suspended and northeast after a journalist was shot dead. protesters took to the streets in the state capital sunday over the alleged molestation of a local actress. they are demanding the man accused of the assault be arrested. police say that accidentally shot the man trying to disperse protesters. associate editor of the -- free press and she gave us an update on the situation. >> there was a meeting of all the journalists. guice all of us there'll was no -- given to the journalist. they were shot with an intent to kill the very that incident -- killed. the incident angered people who were already protesting on the street.
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being burned on the street -- a lot of protest and going on. a lot of -- regarding free movement of the people. the media trying to cover -- >> e jeppe's opposition vowed to appeal the results of a referendum on a new constitution. the national salvation front is demanding -- allegations of fraud. official results will announce monday. unofficial results show 64% of the voters approved the draft constitution. the turnout in both rounds just over 30%. we turn now to our reporter in cairo. >> it remains unclear when the elections commission will finally say its final word on the results of the referendum. initially we were expecting this to be announced monday that there are clear delays. it is not clear are understood
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why. the hire elections commission could be under intense pressure from the opposition, which has been saying they need a final word or say on these allegations of fraud and irregularities that they documented throughout the two stages of the vote. toit could simply give merit the critics and what they have been saying, that this is simply arrest process and a higher elections commission and the judges were simply not prepared, that they did not have enough time to organize this a vote and deal with the result. >> still to come, supporters of hugo chavez of the venezuelan president will be back before the new year. but willie? we will have the latest. and we will tell you about the danger within the russian military forcing thousands of young men to become draft dodgers.
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>> recently there has been heavy downpours over many parts of sri lanka and it has given us a problem with flooding. the latest satellite, you can see the clouds have broken up a little bit. just over the last 12 hours for rate has eased. good news because already these are the pictures on the ground there. seeing landslides because the ground is already saturated. still, an awful lot of water just standing on the road. it does look like we was a more wet weather heading to the day tuesday and you can see from the dark blue colors we are expecting the ring to turn heavy once more. for sri lanka we did not see yet more flooding rains and in the showers will just be nudging north where to the far southern parts of india as well. a little further to the west and we will see flooding in somalia as well. thanks to this area of cloud. embedded in the system is a tropical cyclone it is a very weak one.
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it looks like the winds should not cause too much problem but already the clouds and rain already started over the horn of africa and we will see very heavy downpours headed toward tuesday. there will be flooding. a bit further north and here in doha, it should be fine and settled. just to the north, rain will be affecting in kuwait -- very wet and windy.
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>> the award you don't see, wednesday, 11:00 p.m. eastern, 8:00 p.m. pacific. >> welcome back. let's have a recap of the top stories. syria piece of president bashar al-assad says he will do whatever he can to resolve the
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crisis in the country. his comments on state tv follow a meeting with u.n. peace envoy lakdar brahimi. a two-day mission to damascus. and afghan policeman killed a u.s. contractor in kabul in another so-called insider attack. the woman shot the man at a police compound in the capital. five afghan police were killed in a similar attack on sunday night. india's prime minister has appealed for calm after two days of violent protest in new delhi. roads in the capital have been shut down to prevent any more demonstrations. are calling for the death of the of those accused of the rape of a medical student last week. the venezuelan government says president hugo chavez is in stable condition after his fourth cancer operation in cuba. opponents say he should give the presidency if he does not return in time to be sworn in for another term next month. from across the us, -- newman. >> at this outdoor market in
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caracas, 31 tons of food. everything from christmas bread imported from italy to the traditional leg of pork which is an essential part of their policies and dinner. all of this 60% cheaper than supermarkets, compliments of venezuela's president hugo chavez, whose government is subsidizing the holiday fare. a staunch chavez supporters -- said the most of for nothing is missing. the meinhold is before the new year, chavez will be back with us in venezuela. this is my greatest wish. >> may recover soon in cuba because we need him here -- we need him here in venezuela. >> the ailing left his leader was reelected in october. but less than three weeks before the scheduled inauguration, the president
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remains in cuba fighting to recover from a still unspecified but extremely complex cancer operation. then as well that the constitution stipulates that -- mother constitution stipulates the presence of a sworn in before february 10 -- either by the national assembly or supreme court. there is no provision of a president not being able to attend his own inauguration on time during the -- on time. with no guarantee he will be back anytime soon, opponents are demanding no postponement. >> if there is something that is absolutely clear in article 231 of the competition, it is that the commencement of a new president of term is the 10th of january and no possibility of different. >> it may not be the case. when al jazeera asked acting president about chavez's return, he said the president is a man of "1000 merkel." but when pressed about the date
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-- >> we always have a constitutional of vanity. we have a prestigious competition accord which showed a great ability to interpret any aspect that is necessary. >> in other words, should he want to, the president could very likely obtain an extension from the constitutional court which is stacked by loyalists. all of this if, a big if, he is good enough to remain in office for however long. al jazeera, caracas. been a shootout between police and the gunman in western mexico left 13 dead. a badly wounded in fighting in the state of -- police believe the gunman is connected to major drug cartels. the most powerful pro-gun lobby group in the united states launched a media offensive. the national rifle association has been defending its response to the school shooting that left 26 people dead, including 20 children. john tarrick has more.
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>> on friday, the national rifle association was blunt about how to stop a mass shootings and you press the issue -- schools. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> in a carefully staged event the nra leaders blamed the media, hollywood, and violent video games for gun violence and refused to answer questions about their plans to fill schools with a gun carrying police or security guards. now, the nra that a main spokesman has appeared on u.s. tv show defending his organization's position. >> if it is crazy to call for putting police in securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. >> the national rifle association as one of the most powerful lobby groups in the country. with 4 million members and carries a lot of weight in political circles. since the new town shooting, there have been calls to ban military-style semiautomatic weapons. opinion among politicians is as
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divided as in the country. >> trying to prevent shootings in schools without talking about guns is like trying to prevent lung cancer without talking about cigarettes. >> i do not suggest we ban every move -- movie with a gun with it and any video which is violent and i did not suggest you take my rights to buy an ar-15 away from me. >> according to data, more than 21 the people today are shot in the united states. these are some of the headlines from just the past week. four people killed in a shooting in belair county, pennsylvania. three-hour standoff in topeka, kansas, and with a man shot dead. a high-school student in oklahoma charged with making guns threats against a local school. the white house task force on gun-control reports in january congress may take up some sort of gun control measures in the new year. no one knows whether newtown change the collective appetite for powerful weapons in civilian hands but the battle for gun- control could be a long drawn- out affair.
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>> it is draft season for the russian army and the military is struggling to find enough conscript's. charles -- reports from moscow on why thousands of young men are willing to risk jail. >> he has been dodging the military draft for eight years and in the weekend before and to the army any day. fit enough, not attending university and with no young family. every man in russia between 18- 27 is expected to serve a year in the military. it is a terrifying prospect for many. >> we first left moscow when i was 18 and we were very afraid. we lived in hiding and even learn to recognize when the police cars were coming by the specifics out of their tires. >> this is what frightens men like nikolai. it is known as hazing. it is described as a military code of violence. and often systematic bullying of
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new recruits that the rights groups say sometimes pushes meant to take their own lives. official statistics are rarely release of the military says 149 soldiers committed suicide 2009 alone. nikolai describes the links many families go to the event their children from going military service. >> many of my friends' parents, changing the medical records from a young age so when they reach a draft a to the record show the condition or illness making them unfit to serve. >> this military recruitment center in moscow. every year the military struggles to find a note -- the number it needs. in 2011, just under 12% of men between 18-27 were eligible for recruitment but according to the ministry of defense, 60% were deemed unfit for military service. russia's military's fans around a million. analysts say eliminating violence in its ranks remains a
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problem because of the unfinished reforms. >> the problem is very serious. many officers were fired. at the same time, new soldiers and the junior officers did not appear. as a result -- the discipline still exist. >> the recruitment period has begun an niccolite faces up to two years in jail for dodging the draft. for avoiding a year and an army that once more men, but according to defense experts, needs series of reform in must stop the violence within. al jazeera, moscow. the rebels in mali are once again destroying historical site since it up to. tourist officials say fighters last four of the city's mausoleums. they started targeting shrines in july to impose strict islamic low. the security council also rise in deployment of an african-led force to help recapture
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territory held by rebels. the specialist and west african politics who has researched al qaeda's presents says security and elections in the country depend on successful military operation. >> trying to operate a military action when civilians are the chain of command, the top, are divided, is very much a problem. the only thing is the alternative is much worse. because how are we going to bring the divided civilians together? ideally it should be through elections. but how you hold elections when 60% of the territory is lost? number two, there is so much insecurity. i for one feel if you hold elections these islamic groups who are destroying mausoleums and tombs will destroy the how do we ensure security? even if the work is done,
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politicians are very divided. i can easily see some of them claiming they were cheated, just like we saw in " the war where the elections were impeccable. so i think it will be difficult to have acceptable elections. it seems to me you have to establish a minimum amounts of securities so you could hold elections. they're much like -- >> chile issued an alert over an active volcano on the border of argentina. it began admitting smoke and ash nearly a, there in the skies sunday. people living on the slopes are warned they might have to evacuate their homes. sri lanka is bracing for more heavy rain. it comes after flooding and landslides left at least 42 people dead. more than 17,000 taking shelter in relief camps. flooding in the united kingdom disrupted transportation across the country ahead of the christmas holidays. northeast scotland, southwest
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england and wales are the
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